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Mexican Trade Ban Campaign

Public display to drawing awareness for plight of parrots

Project Status: Completed | 2008

Collaborators

Bill & Terry Pelster, Folke H. Peterson Foundation and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Defenders of Wildlife, Teyeliz A.C.

Mexico a hub for neotropical trade

Mexico is the main importing country for wild caught birds originating from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2007 an in-depth report on the illegal parrot trade by Defenders of Wildlife and Teyeliz A.C., a Mexican non-profit organization, found that about 65,000 to 78,500 parrots and macaws are unlawfully captured each year. About 50,000 of them die from stress, rough handling, disease, crush injuries or dehydration during capture and transport before reaching their destination.

Educational efforts to halt this massive trade were initiated recently by the World Parrot Trust and its partner in Mexico, Defenders of Wildlife.  The effort is aimed at stopping the local trade in parrots through a poster and comic book campaign. Parrots are still traded in the open in Mexican markets and this initiative focuses on educating the public to understand that: it is illegal to buy parrots, buying is part of the illegal trade, and, buying kills parrots. The posters include both comic images and a series of comic images and paintings depicting endangered species. The main message is "You Can Save It – Don’t Buy Wild Parrots." WPT will help produce seven different posters for this series – two macaws and seven Amazon parrots, all of which are endangered. So far, six different images have been completed and distribution has begun.

In 2008, the Mexican government permanently outlawed the trapping and export of their native parrots – a huge step forward and one that dovetails perfectly with WPT’s work to stop the wild parrot trade in this country. Indeed this ban leads directly into the hope to dramatically reduce both domestic demand for native Mexican parrots, and that country’s continued practice of importing wild caught birds. It provides an unprecedented level of protection for Mexico’s 22 species of parrots and macaws.  In the coming years WPT looks forward to supplementing these educational efforts with online initiatives, including a dedicated website and related campaigns, to build an even broader support base in the country.

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